12/11/17 December backcountry fishing in islamorada cold weather

Brrrrr it was a chilly one today with the coldest day of the year here!  It dropped down into the 50s and the water temperatures plummeted down finally today.  Yesterday they didn’t get quite as cold as I thought but today it was in the high 50s as well in the backcountry while the air there was in the 40s first thing this morning.  It was a bone chilling ride over but not too bad the wind did die out some from yesterday and got nice in the afternoon.  We bundled up and it was OK.  I had my dad and Stephen Byrd, marina manager, out for some fun fishing today.  We got on a good bite of black drum early, and once it warmed up a little later the snook started to show up too!  We also picked a few sheepshead which was nice I haven’t caught many of them lately.  Everything was very lethargic and the fish were all freezing cold to the touch!  Working shrimp on the bottom with a jig head did the trick… very slow movement just twitching it up and down.  We slammed ’em good and I think caught over 30 fish in just one spot.  After that we tried another area without much luck, we tried drifting and casting and working a large ground to scout it out but only had a couple bites we missed.  After that we ran further and found a good number of boats on a lot of spots.  We squeezed in though and got on another good snook bite, this time some larger fish!  Also got a nice redfish here.  After that we tried some other stuff on the way home, in an area where I hadn’t had much luck since IRMA.  I’ve been in there quite a few times and it’s normally very good fishing in the fall/winter, but just hadn’t been lately.  Today though we did find some fish in there so that was great to see.  Mostly black drum, though did get one more snook and a few trout too, and that was out of two different spots.  It stayed cold all day and still needed 3 layers for the ride home!  Looks to stay chilly for a few more days though it should be nice as the winds let up.  The weekend it is finally suppose to get back into the upper 70s, but the water will likely stay fairly chilly so it’ll feel colder on the boat.  I’m fishing through Friday so check back for more reports, and if you want to get out this weekend or next week I’m open hit me up!

Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Instagram: @richardstanczyk
Facebook: Islamorada Tarpon Fishing